The Thunder Child

Science Fiction and Fantasy
Web Magazine and Sourcebooks

Vol 1, Issue #10
"Stand By For Mars!"
October 2006

The Thunder Child Book Reviews
by Ryan Brennan

The Wave
Walter Mosley
Warner Books

Walter Mosley is best known for his mystery series featuring the character Easy Rawlins. However, he sometimes ventures into the world of science fiction. His new book, The Wave is return to the speculative realm.

Following a painful divorce, Errol Porter drops out of society. He lives in the garage of the home he shared with his ex-wife, renting from the new owner. He has gone from a high paying job in the computer industry to working as a potter.

Then the phone calls begin. In the middle of the night. Waking him from a deep sleep. At first, the calls are garbled, simple words that make no sense. Someone begging for help, shivering in the cold, naked. The calls become longer, clearer, more coherent. Calls from a cemetery. Calls from Errol Porter's nine years dead father, Arthur.

Or is it? The man claiming to be Arthur is younger than Errol's father. Impossibly so, a youth really. Yet he uses Errol's nickname and reels off details of Arthur's life no one but his father could possess.

And what of Arthur's enthused, metaphysical ravings about "The Wave?" A delerious rap describing a process occupying millions of years, of a single mind, of an inexorable journey from deep within the Earth, inches at a time, through the substrata of the planet until the day the surface was reached.

But Arthur is not a singular case. There are more of these walking, talking, thinking dead. Soon, they are the object of an intense manhunt, a round-up that casts these resurrected bodies as the vanguard of an alien invasion.

This is spare, linear writing that propels the reader through its compelling narrative from the early pages straight through to the denouement. Not one word is wasted in 209 pages of skillfully crafted storytelling.

In fact, Mosley's writing is so vivid that his book reads something like a fleshed out script treatment for a movie. Although there is interior monologue, there is nothing here that couldn't be told on the screen through dialogue and action.

Speaking of movies, The Wave can't help but remind a reader of other science fiction films and literature in which the human body is occupied by alien intelligences. It Came from Outer Space, Not of This Earth, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, No Survivors, Please,Lifeforce, and Night of the Living Dead (which, remember is caused by spores from outer space) all easily come to mind. Still, Mosley smoothly takes the basic concept, puts a new spin on it, and makes it his own.

The Wave is a good, quick read, a page turner you may want to read in one sitting.

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